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Strategic foresight in a high-speed environment

Strategic foresight in a high-speed environment
Strategic foresight in a high-speed environment
This paper explores how a top management team developed strategic foresight and decided to launch an Internet bank in a context of uncertainty about the future take up of e-commerce. For this purpose, a single inductive case study is used. The settings are those of the UK financial services industry, characterised by rapid change, mainly driven by the new technology. The focus of analysis is Sunshine, a stand-alone Internet bank. The study, which is part of a broader project on the management of innovation in financial services, is based on qualitative data captured from semi-structured interviews undertaken with a number of Sunshine’s directors.

The case study reveals that developing strategic foresight is a learning process, which takes place within a broad vision, and enacts the future by a mechanism of probing it through cheap multiple devices. At a more general level, the data suggest that in turbulent environments the retention of the unity of the whole organisational system is a challenging task, particularly when its physical dimensions grow too quickly. In this context, the data suggest that nimbleness, visible and structured processes, extensive communication glued together by a focused and eccentric management team form an important core capability that impacts on the firm’s ability to develop strategic foresight and innovate continuously without falling apart.
0016-3287
219-235
Costanzo, Laura A.
bce28c22-8b70-4176-b523-4e2f59169baf
Costanzo, Laura A.
bce28c22-8b70-4176-b523-4e2f59169baf

Costanzo, Laura A. (2004) Strategic foresight in a high-speed environment. [in special issue: Coping with the Future: Developing Organizational Foresightfulness] Futures, 36 (2), 219-235. (doi:10.1016/S0016-3287(03)00145-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper explores how a top management team developed strategic foresight and decided to launch an Internet bank in a context of uncertainty about the future take up of e-commerce. For this purpose, a single inductive case study is used. The settings are those of the UK financial services industry, characterised by rapid change, mainly driven by the new technology. The focus of analysis is Sunshine, a stand-alone Internet bank. The study, which is part of a broader project on the management of innovation in financial services, is based on qualitative data captured from semi-structured interviews undertaken with a number of Sunshine’s directors.

The case study reveals that developing strategic foresight is a learning process, which takes place within a broad vision, and enacts the future by a mechanism of probing it through cheap multiple devices. At a more general level, the data suggest that in turbulent environments the retention of the unity of the whole organisational system is a challenging task, particularly when its physical dimensions grow too quickly. In this context, the data suggest that nimbleness, visible and structured processes, extensive communication glued together by a focused and eccentric management team form an important core capability that impacts on the firm’s ability to develop strategic foresight and innovate continuously without falling apart.

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More information

Published date: March 2004
Organisations: Southampton Business School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 378110
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378110
ISSN: 0016-3287
PURE UUID: a01c8860-d03a-4db6-8303-8741f8960a07
ORCID for Laura A. Costanzo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7197-6778

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Jun 2015 15:41
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 01:35

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